As the institutions of the empire crumbled, I spent a glorious fall morning in the northern provinces tending my bonsai. The smaller of the two pommegranits has survived a bout with fungus & is doing well. I have trimmed the rosmarys' summer growth to reveal the sinuous structure of their branches. The ficus & the plum sit in a sunny southern window ready for the long cold months. The effects of the crisis will reach us, of course; even in the provinces of the empire we cannot escape the coming chaos. This week, though, we are to have sunny days & cool nights.